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Global health crisis from recycled batteries


Around the world, small-scale recycling of lead from car batteries is growing. Experts say lead pollution from these uncontrolled activities is a deadly threat…
Danger of stalking children from lead batteries of cars

Around the world, unsafe recycling of lead batteries (mainly from cars) is widespread. Perry Gottesfeld of Occupational Knowledge International (a San Francisco-based organization that campaigns worldwide against industrial pollution) called lead pollution “the most serious health threat to children”. In Senegal, 18 children died within three months of cerebral palsy caused by lead poisoning from a battery recycling plant on the outskirts of Dakar. In addition to those 18 children, hundreds more children in the residential area were poisoned. A person cooks lead manually in the Pesarean (Indonesia). Image source: Pure Earth On the other side of California, a giant lead smelter is located in the city of Torreon (Mexico), which has a history of childhood blood poisoning in the neighborhood and stretches back half a century. Air, soil and water pollution has long been documented around small and large lead smelting and recycling plants. Doctors all know that lead can be easily inhaled or swallowed, and when it enters the bloodstream, lead dust will immediately travel from the digestive tract to the brain. On the other hand, it should be known that lead is a potent neurotoxin and at no level has ever been deemed safe. Besides causing fever and affecting the gastrointestinal tract, lead poisoning also damages intellectual development in young children even at a low dose, reduces intelligence quotient (IQ), loss of attention. , and emotional disorders. Workers disintegrate car batteries in preparation for lead recycling in Patna, India. Image source: Pure Earth Lead poisoning is also believed to be the cause of outbreaks of violent behavior in communities in the United States and around the world. The UNICEF report noted: Lead wreaks havoc on the body in a silent way. One-third of children worldwide are suffering from lead poisoning from recycled batteries and other sources. Fatty profits but a danger to human health An estimated 85% of the lead used today is in batteries, mainly used in cars. And when the battery runs out, 99% of the expired battery will be recycled to create a new battery. The recycling battery business is very lucrative, this is a money-making business. Tens of thousands of people breaking batteries and smelters around the world are looking for ways to monetize it, collecting an abundance of used batteries and turning them into brand-new products. According to the International Lead Association, in London: “More than 6 million tons of lead are collected each year. Lead batteries are the most recycled consumer product in the world, thanks to recycling they no longer have to be mined.” Because of very little regulation, in many countries around the world, small-scale operators compete with the legal battery industry. “Total half of all batteries are in the informal economy, where unregulated and often illegal recycling processes have broken battery cases, spilling lead acid and dust into the ground. Lead smelting in open-air furnaces has spewed toxic fumes and dust around residential areas,” according to a report published in June 2020 by Pure Earth and UNICEF. With the rapid development of African economies, more than 800,000 tons of lead leach out of batteries each year on the subcontinent. And the consequences for human health and the environment have already begun to emerge. Two years ago, Mr. Gottesfeld completed research showing that lead poisoning had spread to the land around battery recycling plants in crowded slums or near schools in cities such as Dar es. Salaam (Tanzania), Lagos (Nigeria) and the port of Tema (Ghana). Lead contaminated soil is excavated in Dong Mai ward (Hanoi, Vietnam). Image source: Pure Earth In addition to Africa facing serious lead poisoning problems, Southeast Asia is also facing a similar crisis. Mr. Bill Daniell (School of Public Health, University of Washington) is the lead author of a 2015 study on lead exposure around Dong Mai ward (Ha Dong district, Hanoi), where many households are engaged in recycling. battery processing. More than 100 children in Dong Mai were tested and all showed high blood lead levels of more than ¼/45 micrograms/decilit, which is nine times the safe limit in the US. In India, a study published in 2019 by Toxics Link (an NGO based in New Delhi) announced that 90% of lead batteries in India in recycling plants are in the informal sector. awake. The study mapped residential areas in major cities like New Delhi, where lead-battery recycling plants operate without any official supervision. Nguyen Thanh Hai ( According to e360.yale.edu )